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The Refinery
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The Refinery
5 St Andrew Square,,
Edinburgh,
City of Edinburgh,
EH2 2BD
Mon-Thurs 8am – midnight; Fri 8am-1am Sat 9am-1am, Sun 10am-7pm

Check out the menus here  

Crouched between Dishoom, Wagamama and the hotly anticipated Ivy, this newcomer nods to Scottish heritage with threads such as comfy, tweedy chairs, lambswool and herringbone strewn blankets, sheep skins, highland coo paintings and casual balls of yarn.  It all softens a modern industrial interior whilst complementing the proud Scottish vista that is St Andrews Square. 
I had visited a few times for meetings and had a very nice soya latte thank you but The Refinery was on my ‘to do’ list for dinner.  

Kate and me ordered cocktails; really to give the attentive waiter something to do whilst we chatted – relentlessly. 

Gone are the days of listing Cocktail Bars in this wee magazine. Sophisticated mixology is ubiquitous now. I had a summery Elderflower Sour with edible pansies as decoration so it was as pretty as it was potent. Upmarket nibbles (discounting pansies) were giant Gordal olives – first bought to Scotland by Jamie Oliver I believe - and salted almonds.

Two plates of supper were chosen. Kate went for ‘trad’ bangers and mash whilst I agreed with the waiter’s suggestion of pan-fried cod, crushed potato & artichoke gremolata; generous amounts of the herby condiment injected the required Mediterranean zing to lift what was in danger of being a plate of boring white food. These were quite simply two hearty portions of very tasty, very reasonably-priced food.

Puddings and peppermint tea were next. This is informal eating and we definitely couldn’t have managed three courses. I had a respectable lemon tart with a dod of thick double cream and Kate had Eton Mess – the strawberries just scraping into seasonal. A few scoops of her leftovers revealed sweet strawbs, luscious cream but meringue bits which were brittle rather than chewy. 
The Refinery got a definite ‘thumbs up’ from both of us though and on a practical note it is very convenient for trains, trams and buses. It is also well worth checking out the website for party bookings, if that’s your thing, as it has the space and the packages to accommodate all with ease. There is an upstairs, which I have earmarked as a hideaway for some quiet work.  

It’s easy to snub the chains popping up in Edinburgh. Sometimes it feels like our grand old dame of a city is being spun around by upstarts who don’t ‘get’ our heritage. Conversely we can embrace change, youth and incomers and the vibrancy it brings. 

Choose life. 


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